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Data Breach Statistics That Shook the Healthcare Industry

There could be a thief lurking behind your screen. In the modern, digital age, cybercrime has been on the rise. The healthcare data breach has become more common.

The stats behind these breaches will shake you out of your stupor. Get the full numerical breakdown by reading on.

The Dreaded Healthcare Data Breach

Healthcare data should be protected by layers of HIPAA laws and cybersecurity. Despite fervent efforts, breaches still occur.

The numbers and severity of such breaches are shocking. By 2020’s blessed end, security breaches could have cost healthcare companies a whopping $6 trillion. Only three years ago, that number was half that.

Knowing that, the healthcare industry is projected to spend about $65 billion on cybersecurity between 2017 and 2021. Some doctors now refuse to see patients to prevent breaches.

In February 2020 alone, 39 healthcare data breaches resulted in 1,531,855 records being breached. Month-on-month, that’s a 21.9% increase.

As you can tell, healthcare is the most popular industry target of hackers, accounting for 15% of breaches. The finance industry is second at 10%.

The facts and figures keep adding up. Stolen or lost protected health information (PHI) may cost the American healthcare industry up to $7 billion annually.

Next year, there’s a 75.6% chance of at least five million records being breached. That figure becomes even more alarming considering that between 60 and 80% of data breaches are unreported.

Breaking it down to the cost per breach, a breach of a healthcare record is the costliest of any industry, at $408 per record.

Numbers Don’t Lie

The numbers keep coming in, and they aren’t pretty. Some would call them ugly.

Hackers or IT incidents cause 47% of healthcare data breaches. That’s because too many hospitals use outdated data systems. Hackers abound because cybersecurity is so lacking in this field.

The enemy sometimes lurks within, too. In 2016, privilege and insider misuse comprised 23% of security incidents. Such misuse stems from unhappy current or former employees seeking revenge, gain, or both.

Using their access rights, employees can steal confidential information for personal monetary gain. Insiders also collude with external third parties. Stricter rules of privileged access can prevent hospital data breaches.

As an example of a specific breach, reflect on the Anthem breach on February 4, 2015. Anthem paid $116 million in its settlement but didn’t admit any wrongdoing. That settlement works out to only paying $1.45 per affected record.

That’s a paltry sum, given that healthcare data breaches cost $408 per record on average. It’s no wonder that Tenable Network Security’s cybersecurity report only gave the industry a 54% grade on cybersecurity assurance.

Even with such a low performance, about 50% of healthcare associations and their business partners haven’t increased their cybersecurity budgets within the last year. Whatever they do, they should reach out to medical billing companies.

Precious Data

We are in data’s golden age. It drives consumer habits, advertising demographics, and even personnel changes in pro sports. Data is the new bacon.

The healthcare industry needs to keep up with these data-driven times and safeguard its treasure troves of data. A healthcare data breach is avoidable.

Explore the site’s Business section to stay ahead of these technological times.

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